How to Look Older As a Teen

Three Methods:Wearing the Right ClothesGrooming Yourself as an AdultActing Older

Tired of being mistaken for your younger sibling? You can appear older and more mature than you are. Just focus on how you dress and the way you hold yourself, and people will start thinking you are older.

Method 1
Wearing the Right Clothes

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    Ditch the teen fad clothing. Clothes are one of the ways people judge us when they look at us. What we wear can influence people's opinion of us. If you are trying to look older, stop dressing like a teenager. Start shopping in a different section of the store. Bypass the junior department for the adult clothes. The junior department tends to carry clothes with cheap, thin, semi-transparent fabric that makes you look young. Instead of these cheaper fabrics, look for better-made clothing.[1]
    • Girls should avoid girly trends, like mary janes and Peter Pan collars. Avoid items with lots of lace and ruffled tops, gathered skirts and anything too 'cute'.
    • Avoid sporty styles. Sweatpants, basketball shorts, baseball hats, and gym shorts can make you look lazy and messy. These are also common styles for young people.[2]
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    Wear clothes that fit. Swap your baggy clothes for form-flattering clothes. You don't want clothes that swallow you whole and hang off your frame. This can look unflattering and messy. Alternately, do not wear skin tight clothes. Skin-tight can make you look young and immature.
    • For guys, choose your shirts by measuring the shoulders. If the hemline of the shoulder extends past the end of your actual shoulder, the shirt is too big and won't be a good fit.
    • For girls, choose clothes that accentuate (not reveal) your shape. If you have narrow hips, wear an A-line skirt to draw the eye outward, giving the illusion of hips. Choose scooped necklines and V-necks. Buy jackets and sweaters that fit your silhouette.[3]
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    Don't wear printed tees. One sign that you are young is wearing a t-shirt with a logo or funny saying. This includes band t-shirts, brand names, and logos. If you want people to think you are older, skip the t-shirts altogether.
    • For guys, try plain colored shirts or stripes. Go for fun colors, like light pinks, yellows, and oranges. Dressing maturely doesn't mean boring colors. [4]
    • Henleys and polos are good styles of shirts for men to wear instead of t-shirts.
    • For girls, go for embellished tees or tanks. Try plain blouses in bright colors or in prints.[5] However, stay away from fluorescent and neon.
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    Wear quality jeans. Jeans are a staple in anyone's wardrobe no matter what age. However, think about the jeans you wear if you want to look older. Buy high quality jeans in good, flattering cuts. Make sure they are not low-rise or high-waisted.
    • For guys, buy straight cut jeans. For girls, go for boot cut, wide leg, or skinny jeans. If you wear skinny jeans, make sure they are not too tight.
    • Trade faded or ripped jeans for jeans in darker washes. Don't get jeans with rhinestones or other accents.
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    Wear the right shoes. Finish off dressing maturely by wearing the right shoes. Don't wear sneakers or canvas shoes. Don't wear overly flashy shoes. If you are a girl, don't wear heels that are too high or too stylish. No matter what gender, don't wear flip-flops. Instead, wear sensible, conservative shoes.
    • For guys, wear boots. Black boots look good with just about everything. Brown leather lace up boots are also great for outfits. Loafers and boat shoes may also work if you don't want to wear boots. Polished leather shoes are a mature look.
    • For girls, wear pumps. Make sure the heels aren't too high. If you don't want to wear heels, wear sensible flats. Sandals look good in the summer.
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    Dress nicely. Another way to look mature is to dress nicely. Present yourself as a well-groomed, professional individual. This helps people see you as older instead of a child.[6]
    • For guys, wear khakis or dress slacks. Pair them with a tucked in polo or button up shirt. Wear a nice leather belt and dress shoes. A tie isn't necessary, but will help make you look more mature.[7]
    • For girls, wear dresses that fall to your knees with necklines that do not show too much cleavage. You can also try wearing a nice skirt and blouse. Pair the dress or blouse with a cardigan or a blazer. Wear sensible shoes.
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    Get rid of the backpack. When you are going out, don't carry a backpack. This will make you look young. For guys, carry a messenger bag or a leather briefcase. For girls, carry a simple clutch or a cute hobo purse.[8]

Method 2
Grooming Yourself as an Adult

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    Wear a mature haircut. Haircuts and hairstyles can make you look a lot younger. There is no one way to wear your hair to look mature. However, there are things you can avoid so you don't look young. Don't dye your hair crazy colors or place colored streaks in them. Shy away from extreme hairstyles, like mohawks, half-shaved heads, and dreadlocks. Wear your hair in a conservative manner.
    • Shaggy hair makes a guy’s face look much younger. Replace it with a short, defined cut. Spiked hair, long hair, or any other alternative hairstyle might make you look younger.
    • For women, think about cutting your hair into a bob, pixie cut, or other chic hairstyle. Long, sleek hair can also look mature. Avoid wearing lots of hair accessories, like hairbands, hair bows, and scrunchies.[9]
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    Grow facial hair. For a guy, growing facial hair can make you look older and more mature. A recent study found that beards can make a man look up to 10 years older.[10] If you decide to grow facial hair, make sure it is a good look on you. Some teenage boys can't grow enough facial hair to have goatees or beards.
    • Make sure to trim and groom your facial hair. Messy, unkempt beards look bad.
    • If it grows in thinly, keep yourself clean-shaven. Uneven patches of facial hair will make you look even younger.
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    Wear light makeup. For girls, wear makeup, which can add years to your face. Use eyeliner to outline your eyes. Wear neutral colors, like golds and browns. Don't wear bright or pastel colors. Add some foundation to smooth out your skin.
    • Conceal the circles under your eyes with concealer.[11]
    • Avoid teenage products like thick, sparkling lip gloss or baby-pink nail polish.
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    Cover your acne. Appearing to have clear skin will definitely add maturity to your face. Use a spot concealer to cover acne. Adopt a healthy skin care regiment. Try over the counter acne products, like spot creams and cleansing wipes.
    • Wash your face twice a day with an acne cleansing face wash. Use a moisturizer on your skin. If you have oily skin, use an oil-free moisturizer. If you have dry skin, find one that helps fight dry skin.[12]
    • If you’re a girl, you might wear bangs in addition to makeup to hide blemishes on your forehead.
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    Work out. This will not only help combat baby fat, but also add muscle definition, which definitely helps teens look older. Guys might want to focus on upper body exercises to broaden their shoulders and build their arms. Girls might want to trim their waists and develop their chest and butt muscles to accentuate their womanly curves.
    • Interval training is an excellent way to burn fat quickly and using hand weights will help develop muscle. Join a gym or focus on exercises like push-ups and squats that build muscle.

Method 3
Acting Older

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    Be confident. Nothing communicates maturity like confidence. Even if your physical appearance, unique personality, or social skills aren't what you wish they are, that doesn't have to stop you from building self-confidence.
    • There's a fine line between being confident and being arrogant or condescending. Confidence is feeling good about yourself, not better than those around you. Don't excessively brag about your accomplishments or speak in a way that puts you above others. This is classic immature behavior.
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    Change the way you physically carry yourself. Slouching is another classic behavior associated with teens. Hold your head up high and straighten your back. Learn how to walk confidently and improve your posture. Start by standing up straight wherever you are, whether it is walking down the street, sitting at your desk, using a computer, or waiting in line. Correct yourself whenever you notice your posture faltering. Soon, it will become second nature.
    • Changing the way you carry yourself goes hand-in-hand with confidence. Keep your head up high; don't stare at the ground. Look people in the eye when you talk.
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    Develop social graces. Speak slowly and confidently instead of loudly. Remember your manners by using “please” and “thank you.” Listen closely to what others say; few things demonstrate maturity as much as a good listener.[13]
    • When people finish stories about themselves, don't immediately launch into a story about yourself. This makes you look self-centered and uninterested. Instead, react to their story first, then use your own story as a way of relating to the other speaker.
    • Learn how to use small talk. Ask how people are doing. Talk about the weather. Ask about their families. Be polite and carry on light conversation with people.
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    Complain less. People who are always complaining come off as immature and self-centered. As you mature, you accept that things come and go, and everything happens for a reason. Brooding about how awful your life is won't help you actually improve it. Venting to your friends can be beneficial for catharsis or to solicit advice, but constantly complaining about inconsequential occurrences is very juvenile.[14]
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    Improve your vocabulary. This doesn’t mean dropping unnecessarily large words during everyday conversation, which will make you look desperate for attention. Focus on cutting out childish words that will clearly identify you as a teen. Speak slowly and deliberately. Make your words count by thinking about word choice.
    • Learn some sophisticated vocabulary. A good place to start is with SAT vocabulary. For example, say, "That's a novel idea!" instead of "That's a new idea." Tell someone to be "candid" with you instead of honest. A more sophisticated vocabulary makes you look mature and intelligent.
    • Try not to overuse slang. Avoid "like," screeching "Oh My God!," and punctuating sentences with "totally," "you know," and other meaningless fillers. Try not to use "awesome" and "dude."
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    Stand up for yourself politely but firmly. If someone disrespects you, feel free to tell them to stop. After all, part of maturity is commanding respect. Be straightforward and communicate what you want. Avoid using excessive sarcasm or acting extremely offended. Even if you're joking with these snarky comments, they make you look bad and won’t achieve the results you’re looking for.
    • For example, if someone interrupts you, say, "Hold on, please don't interrupt me."
    • Don't say things like, "Wow, I can't believe you just interrupted me. Someone doesn’t know when to shut up!"
    • Learn when to let things go. Everyone has negative encounters with others, but it takes wisdom to learn how to pick your battles. Being spiteful, resentful, or malicious will make you look immature.
    • Sometimes when people rub you the wrong way, they often don't realize it. Be respectful of their feelings by either ignoring the mistake or, if necessary, clearly communicating to them that they have caused offense.


  • Don’t underestimate how much maturity has to do with poise. Seeming older has a lot more to do with how you command a room than how you dress.
  • If you can't grow facial hair, try giving yourself more detailed facial features to look more physically developed.
  • Sometimes you should act your own age. Your teens aren't going to come back. So make the most of it and don't act too old. It's alright to be poised and elegant but don't skip your teen life to become an adult early.
  • A good way to figure out what to wear is buy searching adult clothing trends and full outfits on Pinterest or another social media app that is trusted. Then copy the outfit with what you can afford/what you have at home. Just don't choose things that look too revealing or cartoony.

Article Info

Categories: Beauty and Grooming for Girls